Computer Science

COMPSCI 726: Network Defence and Countermeasures
Semester 2, City Campus

Recommended Preparation: COMPSCI 314 (Modern Data Communications), COMPSCI 340 (Operating Systems)
Lecturers: Rizwan Asghar (Course Coordinator), Elliot Wallace, and Shalini Banerjee


This course focuses on the use and deployment of protective systems used in securing internal and external networks. Its purpose is to provide a detailed understanding of technologies such as firewalls, NAT, IDS, honeypot and a host of other security mechanisms for providing security at different TCP/IP layers. It examines in detail the widely used protocols including SSL, IPSec, DNSSEC as well as covers infrastructure platform protocols including wireless security (IEEE 802.11).

It is a research-oriented course that explores current research and developments in the area of network defence and countermeasures.

Time and Location

  • Monday 10:00-11:00 hrs ClockT032/105-032
  • Wednesday 14:00-15:00 hrs ClockT029/105-029
  • Thursday 15:00-16:00 hrs ClockT029/105-029

Learning Outcomes

  • Give basic advice on securing communication networks (Themes 1-6*)
  • Criticise and appreciate technical literature on network security (Themes 1-5*)
  • Demonstrate technical skills to increase security of communication networks (Themes 1-6*)
  • Prepare and deliver an oral presentation on an advanced topic in network security (Themes 1,2,4, and 5*)
  • Develop novel problem solving and research-informed ideas (Themes 1-6*)

*All the themes are defined in graduate profiles.


  • 15% Individual Seminar: Your oral presentation must be a coherent explanation of an advanced topic in Network Defence and Countermeasures, showing your careful reading and understanding of a research article (from this list). Note that an article can be chosen by at most 2 students. The deadline to choose an article is: Friday, July 31, 23:59 hrs NZDT. Furthermore, you also need to review one assigned presentation within a week after that presentation. For more information, click here.
  • 25% Group Report: Your written report must demonstrate (i) your critical understanding of at least 5 research articles and (ii) a novel research idea in the respective topic your group has chosen (group size is 2). To see a potential list of articles, click here. At least one article in your report must be from this list. The deadline to submit your research proposal (including names of both group members, expected report title and a single paragraph of your research proposal) is: Friday, August 7, 23:59 hrs NZDT. The deadline to submit your final report is: Friday, October 16 Monday, October 19, 23:59 hrs NZDT. For more information, click here.
  • 60% Final Exam: The final exam will be based on lectures, seminars, and class discussions.


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